Healthcare Industry Overtakes Manufacturing In US Cities

Healthcare Industry Overtakes Manufacturing in US Cities

When you think of Pittsburgh, one of the first things that come to mind is a rugged steel town born on the backs of hard workers who toiled for long hours in the city’s thriving mills. But those images are from 30 or 40 years ago. Look across the city skyline today and you’ll notice the smoke stacks are gone, the old steel mills have been torn down or transformed, and offices belonging to healthcare related companies have taken the place of steel industry executive suites.

For three decades up through the 1970s steel manufacturing dominated Pittsburgh while the healthcare industry was less than a third the size. Yet it is the booming healthcare sector that has led the revitalization of a city that just about collapsed in the 1980s. Today, one out of every five Pittsburgh workers is employed somewhere in healthcare; be it hospitals, clinics, research facilities, private practice, health insurance companies, etc. Without the healthcare industry Pittsburgh might well have been left to become a ghost town.

The Same All Over

The trend is not confined to just one area of Pennsylvania, by the way. In Rochester New York, where Eastman Kodak was once the perfect example of manufacturing idealism, the University of Rochester, it’s medical school, and Strong Memorial Hospital are now the area’s largest employer. As for Eastman Kodak, they are currently in bankruptcy proceedings and may not come out alive.


Over the last 10 years healthcare staffing in the Rochester area has skyrocketed as well. The city is also home to the region’s two largest health insurance providers in addition to several full-service hospitals, to specialist hospitals, and countless numbers of group practices and private practice specialists. Throw in the fact that the University of Rochester is a research facility and a top-notch medical school, and you have all of the indirect employment provided there as well.

Continued Growth

The amazing part of all of this is the fact that the growth in healthcare staffing seems to have no end in sight. According to the U.S. Labor Department nearly 1/3 of all jobs created since 2007 have been in healthcare. Even more amazing is the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims 33,000 healthcare jobs were added to the labor force last month alone. Wherever you go new healthcare facilities are going up and workers are being hired.


All of this is a boon for healthcare staffing agencies working overtime to fill vacant staffing needs. Go online and search for healthcare staffing jobs and you’ll be inundated with millions of results. It’s truly a scenario that we have never witnessed before in any industry in the United States.

Some experts say the unmitigated growth will not last forever. They don’t know when things will level off, or even drop, but they agree it is inevitable. Until then, healthcare professionals have their pick of the litter when it comes to job opportunities. Would it be that every sector enjoyed the same thing.

Jane, from